Chocolates, flowers and philanthropy — all part of a great Valentine’s Day. Cornell’s Class Councils plan to fulfill Cornellians’ dreams next week with a Pink Gala to support Planned Parenthood, hosted on the Statler Terrace on Valentine’s Day evening.
The Class Councils of 2021 and 2022 are planning the event with a pink theme, in celebration of Valentine’s Day and in honor of Planned Parenthood’s advocacy efforts. Proceeds of the event will go to the Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, the local affiliate operating in Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Tompkins Counties.
Planned Parenthood offers healthcare services including STD screening, birth control and reproductive cancer screening, according to their website. The organization is politically controversial because they provide abortions.
“This is definitely a big step for us as an organization, putting on an event of this caliber, especially for such a good cause,” said Laurence Minter ’21, president of the 2021 Class Council.
Members of the Class of 2021 Class Council chose Planned Parenthood for its philanthropy cause for its advocacy of sexual awareness, which is especially important “for students our age in a college setting,” according to Minter,
While Planned Parenthood remains a polarizing organization in the United States due to their pro-choice stance on abortion, the selection as a philanthropic organization was relatively clear among members of the 2021 Class Council.
“One of the main things we focus on is leadership and being leaders in areas that are kind of controversial,” said Paulina Kenny ’21, co-event chair. “That’s definitely something we’re proud of.”
Minter also believes that the philanthropic nature of the event will help inform students of Planned Parenthood’s other vital services beyond its role in performing abortions. According to its 2017 Annual Report, PPSFL has served 9,443 patients and has received upwards of 17,170 visits to its five health centers throughout the Finger Lakes region over the course of the year.
The Pink Gala was inspired by the Class Council’s other formal event, the Snowflake Gala, typically held in the fall semester. This month’s gala, however, was “rebranded” to fit the Valentine’s Day theme.
“We organize a lot of events that promote awareness and get people from each class to come out, mingle and have fun,” said Alexandra Woo ’22, the Class of 2022 Event Chair for the gala.
Class Council is hoping that the Pink Gala will be an annual event that will eventually become Cornell tradition.
“Bringing the classes together in ways that haven’t really happened before is great,” Kenny told The Sun.
The gala will be at the Statler Terrace, from 8 – 11 p.m. It will feature DJ Hurd — who performed at last year’s Senior Gala — and a variety of student performance groups, including several dance troupes and a cappella groups. Living up to its name, the gala will have pink decorations, pink lighting, and pink pigmented hors d’oeuvre.
Tickets to the gala can be purchased for $10 online or from Class Council members at RPCC this Friday from 6 – 8 p.m.